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Prime Minister Gordon Brown appoints Will Day as Chair of Sustainable Development Commission

Will Day25 June 2009

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has appointed Will Day as Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, to succeed Jonathon Porritt, who will step down after three terms in the post on 27 July 2009.

Will Day joins the SDC from a background in international sustainable development, having worked with aid organisations Care International, Save the Children and Oxfam; and in broadcasting with the BBC World Service. He was instrumental in setting up Comic Relief, and has chaired the BBC’s Children In Need as well as advising Pricewaterhouse Coopers on sustainability. He is also Special Advisor to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and a Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge Programme for Industry, where he is a faculty member of the Prince of Wales’s Business and Environment Programme.

Will Day said:

"I am delighted to be asked to Chair the SDC. I take this on at a time of growing public and political understanding of the immense social and environmental pressures that are building up around the world and that affect us all. These realities will require thoughtful and decisive action by government at all levels, business and our wider society.

"I am greatly looking forward to working with my fellow Commissioners and the SDC team as we engage across government; not just in London and the English regions, but importantly in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to make sure that the SDC's role as an independent champion for a sustainable future is as prominent and effective as our responsibilities as adviser and scrutineer."

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said:

"I look forward to working with Will on what is a challenging time to be the Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission. I would also like to thank Jonathan Porritt, the outgoing Chair, for his valuable contribution over the last nine years."  

Environment Secretary for Scotland Richard Lochhead said:

"The Scottish Government from the outset has stated that economic growth must be sustainable to protect our precious environment. And this week the Scottish Parliament is preparing to pass our Climate Change Bill, the most ambitious and comprehensive climate change legislation anywhere in the world.

"I am pleased to welcome Will Day’s appointment as SDC chair and look forward to working with him and the SDC to help us achieve the high standards we are aiming for."

First Minister for Wales Rhodri Morgan said:

"I warmly welcome the appointment of Will Day as the new Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission. Sustainable development is at the heart of good governance in Wales as our new Sustainable Development Scheme, One Wales One Planet, makes clear. I am looking forward to working with Will Day as we implement our plans to make Wales a sustainable nation."

Will Day Biography

Will has acquired extensive experience across social, economic and environmental portfolios both at home and abroad. He is the former Chief Executive of Care International and has spent a significant amount of his career based in Africa. In the UK he has held many roles, including; Chairman of BBC Children in Need, external advisor to the BBC Corporate Social Responsibility Board and Non-executive Director of South Kent NHS Hospitals Trust.

He has travelled and worked extensively in the developing world as well as the UK, has provided consultancy services for many development organisations and has been an active public speaker and commentator on sustainable development. In addition to this, William has been a faculty member of the Prince of Wales Business and the Environment programme since 2004, a senior advisor to the UNDP Growing Business Initiative and also the Chairman of Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).

Whilst at CARE William oversaw the development of a Memorandum of Understanding with WWF to manage the recognised overlap between the social and environmental issues. Will was formerly a member of the Grants Committee (1989-93) Charities Aid Foundation; member (1990-2000) and Chairman (from 1998) of BBC Central Appeals Advisory Committee; Non-executive Director of South Kent NHS Hospitals Trust (1993-1996); Independent Assessor for public appointments to Department for Culture, Media and Sport; a Trustee and then Chairman of BBC Children in Need (1998-2008); External Advisor to BBC Corporate Social Responsibility Board (2005-2008).

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